Have-a-Seat: Proxemics in Public Space (2005)
Have-A-Seat is a seemingly normal sofa that slowly ‘breaks’ apart into two individual seats when two persons sit on it. When one person leaves, the two seats rejoin to form a seemingly normal sofa. It emphasizes human behavior by enlarging the natural reaction of two strangers sitting next to each other. Interestingly, the project applied both an academic approach and scientific results to create an interactive artwork. Proxemics is the study of spatial separation that individuals socially maintain. It studies when and why we feel uneasy if others come too close or not close enough. The students investigated the role of proxemics theory within interactive art installations and uncovered that it is nearly always applied to bring individuals closer together. As a reaction, they created an interactive installation that deals with behavioral patterns that arise when people in a public space try to create some personal space around them. Read more on the project website.